In the hundreds of years since their development, the rules of Saints Augustine, Benedict, and Francis have ordered and oriented the lives of monks, sisters and lay people across the globe. Their emphasis on daily ritual, manageable though virtuous behaviors and everyday actions appeal to anyone seeking a deeper spiritual life, a time-tested order for cultivating meaning in the day-to-day rhythm of life, and guidance on prioritizing the things that matter most.
Life is more enjoyable when we actually appreciate (versus mindlessly consume) the luxuries to which we afford ourselves. Amidst the ups and downs of life and the challenges that we all inevitably face, little sparks of delight can buoy us and help us savor the goodness that does fill our days.
No matter what’s going on in the world, it is always a good time to learn more about the people who matter most to us, and getting a break from discussing topics that cause stress and boredom is an added perk. These questions have done the trick for me.
Obedience isn’t the first virtue that comes to mind when I consider ways that I can strive for a life of everyday holiness. But putting it into practice in a few small ways has helped me to see the goodness that can flow from not allowing myself to be my own guide or god.
For all of us — students, young professionals, aspiring artists, members of families and communities, loyal friends, and more — time is a limited resource. Thoughtfully considering how we use the hours that we have been given, and maybe incorporating the wisdom of people who have gone before us, can impact the quality of our work, our satisfaction, and ultimately, our lives.
Just over fifty words, the Suscipe is brief. But by moving me to complete three major actions — letting go, giving thanks, and asking for help — it transforms my mindset and softens my heart with each recitation.
It’s normal to be disappointed and anxious during uncertain times, but the good news is that there are things we can do to help our emotional state as we live through our current reality. One of those things is to help someone else.